(MOBILE, Ala.) Iris Johnson Houston is disabled and on a cane.
But still, she was doing just fine Christmas morning. But by that afternoon, a tornado had snatched away her holiday cheer, and much of her house.
"I'm living in the house in the part with the roof on it," she said.
And she's out of her heart and diabetes medicine and out of money, too. So Tuesday, she came here to Catholic Social Services, an organization she's given to in the past.
But now, she needs help.
And Catholic Social Services says it needs your help as well.
How much it can help people like Iris is determined by how much money is donated to the 2013 Catholic Charities Appeal.
"It is not an exaggeration to say there are people who eat cat food in order to afford medicines," said Archbishop Thomas Rodi.
He offered that sobering fact to kick off the annual charity appeal and he wasn't finished.
"There are people who live in cold houses because they can't afford the heat," he added.
There are more than 30 different ministries financed by the annual appeal, reaching out to people of all faiths and even no faith at all.
More than 40,000 people were helped last year.
The faces of the needy, it seems, have changed.
"Often it's what we call the working poor," said Marilyn King, executive director of Catholic Social Services in Mobile. "Here they are working 40 hours a week. Something happens in their life, an illness, or they need medication or the car breaks down or they are having trouble making the rent, and then the whole thing goes downhill."
Like Iris, some in need are people who have donated to the appeal before. Now, the tables have turned.
The 2013 Catholic Charities Appeal will touch help organizations in 28 Southern Alabama counties.
To learn how you can help, call them at 438-9668, or visit them on line at www.mobilearchdiocese.org